Preserving Prints

 

I have a lot of pictures that are lying in storage that I have recently decided to preserve for posterity. How can I store them effectively?
Bhupesh Pant, Dwarka

This article was originally published in September 2011.

Ensure that prints are stored in an area which has constant temperature conditions. Photograph/Julia Freeman

Ensure that prints are stored in an area which has constant temperature conditions. Photograph/Julia Freeman

Travelling down memory lane is always a pleasant experience, especially when we flip through our photo albums. However, over time the prints can fade or can catch fungus, rendering them useless. But that does not mean you cannot preserve them. The first and foremost thing you can do is handle your prints in a proper manner. Ensure that you hold the prints from the edges and not leave fingerprints on the photograph itself or dust, dirt and oil can settle on them. Do not write behind photographs as the ink can penetrate into the print and ruin it. When compiling your images, never bunch them together using pins or clips as they will scratch the surface of the photograph.
While storing your photographs, make sure the storage area is free from fluctuating weather conditions. Humidity, dryness or heat can all have adverse effects on your photographs. It is, therefore, best to store them at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. To ensure long-lasting photo prints, store them in sturdy photo albums with acid-free paper between each photograph. If you are displaying larger prints, use ultraviolet-filtering acrylic sheets instead of glass, as the glass can stick to the photograph’s emulsion over time.


 

Tags: March, Photo Albums, Preserving Prints, Question of the Day, Storage